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Suriname: Governments stagnate legislation Saamaka verdict

With the Saamaka alone, the legal recognition of their territories has only to take place. They have yet to get their rights to the lands. The requirements were that the verdict should be published, which is what happened. Furthermore, the Saamaka tribe had to receive a certain amount of money from the state, whatever they received. However, the legal recognition to which they are entitled can only be done by legislation.

“If the community complains that the verdict is not being carried out, they are right. Their complaint is also justified, ”says Patricia Meulenhof, chair of the presidential committee on fundamental rights issue, in conversation with Suriname Herald. The traditional authority of Brokopondo has recently expressed itself again about the non-execution of the Saamaka judgment by the state of Suriname.

In 2017, the state of Suriname was condemned by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. “The Inter-American Court has obliged the state of Suriname to come up with legislation, but that has still not happened after years. The NDP and BEP had the opportunity to do that, but they too passed it, ”says the committee chairman.

Captain Hendry Kaffe of Brokopondo also shares the same opinion. He complains, saying that the Saamaka verdict is deliberately not being carried out. “There is a verdict to be executed and nothing has been done yet. Why is it so difficult for governments to resolve the land rights issue? Ex-president Ronald Venetiaan with his ten clean fingers has not had anything done. The Bouterse government came afterwards, sat for ten years and had promised so much but also did nothing. When the inhabitants of the interior are given rights to the land, we know where we stand and where we stand. ”

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